Categorized | Beef, Chicken, Fish, Pork

How to make the green seasoning paste that’s so unique to Caribbean cuisine.

The one key ingredient when it comes to cooking any meat or fish dish in the Caribbean, is the green seasoning mix that’s used in the marinating process. Before we go on I’d like to mention a couple things. This recipe usually calls for 2 key ingredients “shado beni” and “Spanish thyme” (aka podina), both of which I can’t get readily get here in Canada, unless I source out a Thai or Caribbean specialty store. For the “shado beni” I’ve substituted in cilantro, which is somewhat similar but less pungent and I’ve left out the Spanish thyme. If you’re based in the Caribbean or can get those 2 ingredients, please use with caution since they can easily overpower the green seasoning with it’s strong flavors. I also couldn’t get the pimento peppers, so I opted for 1 banana pepper, but you can also use a Cubanelle

There are several variations of this seasoning mix, but this is one that I’ve tested and perfected over the years.

You’ll need…

1 bundle of Cilantro (about 1-2 cups)
1 stalk of celery (include leaves if you have it)
1 head or garlic (about 11 cloves)
4 green onions (scallions)
1 bunch of fresh thyme (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup of water
pinch of salt (optional)
2-3 shallots (optional)
2 pimento peppers (1 banana pepper or 1 Cubanelle)

*Food processor or blender.

Peel, trim and wash the ingredients and let drain.


Then rough-cut into smaller pieces so it’s easier to manage and work in the blender or food processor.



Add all the ingredients into your food processor or as in my case,  a blender (I’m sure my wife is mad at me for showing you our prehistoric blender)… including the water. You may be required to move around or push down the ingredients occasionally so it all gets worked by the blades.


Personally I like to liquify my blend to the consistency of pesto or even a bit more liquid. However you have the choice at this point to make a bit more chunky-like if you wish.


After a few pulse actions you’ll find that everything blends together quite easily. Here’s a picture of the finished green seasoning :


Storage Tips!

From this batch I have a plastic container that I pour half into and keep in the fridge for everyday use, the other half I pour into a freezer zip lock bag and freeze until I get through the batch in the fridge. Since you probably won’t be using the seasoning as much as I do, I suggest you divide it into 3-4 portions, keeping 1 in the fridge (can last for 2-3 months) and freeze the rest.

You can also get a couple ice cube trays from the dollar store and fill each ice cube area 1/4 up with the seasoning mix and then freeze. Then when it’s frozen, you can dump the cubes into a freezer bag and place back in the freezer. Now whenever you’re cooking, all you have to do is grab a cube and use.

You’ll notice that after time the once brilliant green color will go darker, don;t be alarmed. That’s natural!

Happy cooking

Be sure to leave me your comments or suggestions.

Forgot to mention… this makes about 3 cups of green seasoning.

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244 Responses to “How to make the green seasoning paste that’s so unique to Caribbean cuisine.”

  1. errol says:

    Chris I am Trinidadian living in London. Shado beni as is known back home is very different here in London , I will substitute corianda in my green seasoning mix. cheers

  2. dewey henry says:

    if you get a seal-a- meal you can keep in the freezer for a year with out losing any of the taste.pre make any meal and save it in the freezer until you need it,,,just heat it up..SHABBA!!!happy carnival!!

  3. Jenny says:

    Thanks Chris

  4. Marietta Lyon says:

    Thanx Chris..I Will make this as soon as I can..

  5. Jenny Ming says:

    I have found that blending the seasonings with water and Olive oil preserves the colour and the taste.

  6. Faith says:

    This is really a great idea for keeping fresh seasonings. This saves the trouble of cutting up seasonings whenever you have to cook.

  7. Donna Taylor says:

    I Donna make the green seasoning. Thank you Chris

  8. norma says:

    I am a caribbean girl, so I make my green seasoning all the time. Its so much easier to season and do your cooking. very convenient. good tuh know yuh do that too, chris, and thanks so much for the recipes.

  9. MrsEmpress says:

    I’ve noticed that, after I’ve made the seasoning and refrigerated it for some days, there is a liquid layer on top. The only liquid I add is a few capfuls of vinegar (for preservation as well as to help the food processor chop everything up). What causes this separation? Should I pour it off or just stir it back into the seasoning?

  10. Alicia G. says:

    Thanks for the recipe! I made it for the first time today.

  11. Alicia G. says:

    Thanks forb the recipe! I made it for the first time today.

  12. Donna Taylor says:

    I like make Home make seasoning, Thank you Chris.

  13. Mercedes says:

    This looks incredibly awesome. I’m so excited to try it. Thank you for sharing. Please continue to do so!

  14. Pat says:

    It’s a great seasoning for all meats and fish. Tried it. What a difference it makes.

  15. Pat says:

    Do you the entire thyme stalk or do you strip the leaves off the wooden part?


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